PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 231-237.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.02.010

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Glacier Variations in China and Its Sensitivity to Climatic Change during the Past Century

DUAN Jianping1, WANG Lily1, REN Jiawen2, LI Lun3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,CAS,Beijing l00101,China;
    2. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    3. Institute of Atomospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing l00029,China
  • Received:2008-12-01 Revised:2009-01-01 Online:2009-03-25 Published:2009-03-25


Glacier variations results from climatic change, it is also an indicator of climatic change. In the past 100 years, glaciers in China have been generaly retreating and ablating rapidly under the condition of global warming. In this paper the researches about glacial terminal retreat, areas and mass balance variations in China in recent decades have been reviewed and analyzed, the sensitivity of glacial variations to climatic change had been discussed from the view of time and space. Evidences indicated that there is a phase lag of about 10-20 years for glacial terminal variation to climatic change in China and the variations magnitude of the glacial retreat, mass balance and glacial areas are larger at the margins and the vicinities of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau than the inner glaciers. The sensitivity of glacial variations to climate change displayed an enhanced trend from the inner glaciers to the marginal and adjacent glaciers of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Finally, the authors analyze the problems and insufficiency of the present studies and the tendency in future.

Key words: glacier variations, response to climatic change, sensitivity